Been fairly occupied with other things today (partly writing a book, partly watching one of my favourite Buffy episodes), so just have a few bits and pieces to half-heartedly report on.

I’ve also been scribbling more thoughts on this ongoing dialogue of sorts with Eric, my wacky Christian buddy. You can catch up with that in the comments a few posts down from here, or on his blog, but as a bonus DVD extra, here’s a quick thought that didn’t make it into that discussion, after I rewrote the whole piece in a somewhat different direction.

Eric said:

I also agree that we should not be subject to a tyrannical god. However, to suggest that an omnipotent god, no matter his disposition, actually OWES us something, it [

sic] to have a view or [sic] humanity a bit higher than our actual position in this universe.

Which sounds unusual, coming from someone who – unless my Christian theology is severely out of wack – believes that the universe was created solely in order for us to live in it. That would seem to set our position pretty high. You could stroll into the Total Perspective Vortex with that attitude and walk out with your sanity, no sweat.

But even leaving that slight glibness aside, I disagree with the entire premise here. If a being who is all-powerful, who knows what’s going on down here, and who loves us unconditionally, has created the world and all the rules by which it runs, and created us and put us here, then yes, he has a responsibility to us, he owes it to us not to neglect us and allow needless suffering.

If, instead of creating the world as he did, he’d simply made Hell and then conjured a few souls into existence solely to throw them into the fire and watch them burn for eternity, would that be just? Would he not owe his creations a little more respect, compassion, and basic decency than that? As it happens, God is not that sadistic, but we’re still apparently bound by his contract and his rules which we never had a chance not to agree to. We’re human beings, you don’t get to walk all over us just because you’re bigger and more powerful. We deserve better. Has Spiderman taught you nothing about what traditionally comes with great power?

So, there’s that.

In exciting maths news (not an oxymoron, so shush), the Great Internet Mersenne Prime Search may have found a new Mersenne prime number – that is, a number into which no smaller number will divide exactly, and which takes the form 2^{n} – 1, for some whole number *n*. If it checks out, it will be more than 12 million digits in length, far longer than the previous record-holder, which was just under 10 million digits long.

I get excited about these things. I’ll be following this story closely and providing regular updates.

on August 29, 2008 at 4:57 am |RaghuthamanPrime number basics!

“Sorting primes and grasping virtues of prime numbers” appears a key feature of ancient Indian mathematics, which later came to know as Vedic mathematics! Unfortunately it is regarded not scientific, which sense perfectly suits “modern manners of prime numbers related studies”(as these studies lack direction and utility)

(Step of 6)+1 and (step of 6)-1 are either prime numbers or numbers having “only prime numbers as factors” is a Vedic manner, which Jain Scriptures of BC 600 reveals. Together let us say they are “p-numbers”!

Confirming (a step of 6) plus or minus one is a prime or not involves a division check.

It implies “p- numbers” in range 10…99 if divisible by any “prime number” in a range 2 to 9 (that are 5 and 7) it is not a prime!

Similarly p-numbers in a range 0004…9999 if divisible by any prime number in range 04…99 it is not prime. Else it is a prime number!

A related matrix by matrix number relating is obvious in said rules, which I have explained in

A Vedic manner makes use of ‘virtues of prime numbers’ to compute huge-digit-answers!

Said virtues are within recurring reciprocal digits of prime numbers, which modern mathematicians are yet to grasp!

A 2-digit prime number ‘97′ has a full quota of 96 recurring digits! They are not scattered number-digits! A perfect 3D position-order is associated to it. Page 90 of article Vedic matrix-0 (you may web search ‘Vedic matrix’) graphically reveals it. Infinite such possibilities are yet to grasp!

A huge-digits prime number (let there be billions of trillion digits in it is not an ‘easy to apply knowledge’, whereas, practical applications lay in ‘near-zero prime numbers’!

Grasp sense of Vedic Mathematics from sense of Vedic sutras, which is related to “Vedic matrix”!

on August 29, 2008 at 8:58 am |cubiksrubeWow, what the hell was that? I think I know what you were getting at in places, but I doubt I could come up with an explanation of the “basics” of prime numbers as confusing as that if I tired. I’ve got a degree in this subject but I’m starting to doubt my knowledge.